Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says four Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centres (GTRCM) will be opened in Japan, Malta, Nepal and Hong Kong, in an effort to build the resilience of the Asian tourism product.
“Today, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre took on a new global perspective, when Nepal became the first of four regional Centres to be established over the next eight weeks. The Director of the Nepal Tourist Board, Deepak Raj Joshi and I, have completed an arrangement for the establishment of the first Centre in Asia,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister made this announcement on Friday, while participating in a panel discussion at the inaugural Asian Resilience Summit held in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 30 – 31, 2019.
He went on to share that, “the GTRCM in Kathmandu will become the Centre for the areas covering China and India. The next Centre will be established in Hong Kong and the work is currently going on with the team.”
The GTRCM in Japan will be housed at the Japan International University, which is a private university located in Minamiuonuma city in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
The first Centre, located at the University of the West Indies, Mona, was launched at the beginning of the year at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, with a number of local and international government leaders and partners, including Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
It was first announced during the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism in St. James in November 2017, and is tasked with creating, producing and generating toolkits, guidelines and policies to handle the recovery process following a disaster.
“These four new Centres will position the Global Resilience Centre as a true international construct. The University of the West Indies which hosts the primary Centre, will become the coordinating university for these outstanding other universities which are located across the globe slated to host these new Centres,” said Minister Bartlett.
During his visit, the Minister will meet with the Former UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, regarding the recovery strategies for Nepal’s post-earthquake programme, at the request of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Minister Bartlett will later travel to the US Virgin Islands to participate at the Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery during the period June 3-4, 2019. This Action Network brings together leaders from across sectors to develop new, specific, and measurable plans that advance recovery and promote long-term resiliency across the region.
The meeting will outline innovative programmes in the tourism sector and sustainable practices that are inclusive of Small and Medium Enterprises and conducive of economic growth.
“Jamaica continues in its thought leadership in tourism. We also continue to position our country and the Caribbean, as the new reference point for resilience building, particularly for countries that are highly tourism dependent,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister is accompanied by Professor Lloyd Waller, Senior Advisor/Consultant and Miss Anna-Kay Newell his Executive Assistant, in Nepal. Professor Waller and Miss Newell will return to Jamaica on June 2, 2019.
The Minister, however, will return to Jamaica on June 6, 2019, as he will be attending the meeting of the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in the US Virgin Islands alone.
The Minister received his invitation to visit Nepal from Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Nepal Tourism Board. The Government of Nepal also funded the Minister’s participation in the Asian Resilience Summit.